The link between co-teaching and mathematics achievement for students with disabilities

Lisa Sharble Word


Co-teaching is an approach where general education teachers and special education teachers work together to meet the needs of all students in the general education setting. The purpose for this study was to examine the relationship between specific variables involved in co-teaching (preparation for co-teaching training, collaborative practices, selection process of co-teaching pairs, and use of specialized instruction) and student mathematics achievement as reported by a standardized test administered in the spring of each year. The study focused on the mathematics test results of fifth and eighth grade special education students in co-taught math classrooms. The researcher conducted the study in a large suburban school district located in the southeastern United States. Participants were general and special educators in math co-teaching teams in Grades five and eight in 25 middle schools and 69 elementary schools. Sixty-five teachers completed the 34-item Perceptions of Co-Teaching Survey used to collect the data from the co-teaching teams. A correlation matrix was created to answer three of its four related hypotheses. The results indicated no significant correlations between three of the four hypotheses. However, a two-way chi square analysis was used to determine if passing a standardized math assessment was associated with the selection process. There was a significant relationship found.